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Some distracted driving behaviors likened to drunk driving

By now drivers in the province of Ontario are likely well aware that distracted driving is a behavior that can have devastating consequences. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, a total of 505 people died in distracted driving crashes over the course of the last six years.

Behaviors that constitute distracted driving vary widely and include eating, applying makeup, reading and checking one’s phone for email or text. While according to a State Farm Canada survey, people throughout the province acknowledge that it is a problem—of 1,300 people surveyed, 93 percent agree that it is an issue—fewer, 35 percent, admit that they participate in the behavior.

Distracted driving can lead to a crash occurring. A study conducted at the Applied Cognition Lab located at the University of Utah, determined that distracted driving is just as bad for a driver as being intoxicated while driving. Sadly, while many people would never dream of driving drunk they would not think twice about sneaking a look at their phone to read a text.

In an effort to try to combat the issue laws in Ontario were recently changed to make distracted driving penalties harsher. In addition to resulting in three demerit points those who are caught engaging in the behavior could find that they must pay up to $1,000.

Whether these harsher penalties will result in fewer accidents caused by distracted drivers is not clear. Regardless, when someone is injured in a crash that occurs as a result of distracted driving he or she may be able to take legal action. A lawyer can help determine the best course of action.

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